2020 – Year in Review


The Numbers:

  • MuggleNet news posts: 743
  • MuggleNet page views: 6,372,369
  • MuggleNet seen in: 231 countries


The Stellar Seven:

These were our seven most popular news stories for the year.

  1. Build-A-Bear Workshop Launches Harry Potter Collection
  2. New Diagon Alley LEGO Set Is Ready for September Release
  3. The Shop That Cannot Be Named Celebrates a Magical Opening Week
  4. Licensed Harry Potter Face Coverings Have Arrived
  5. LEGO Harry Potter: What Sets Are Coming Soon and What Sets Are Heading out at the End of the Year?
  6. EXCLUSIVE: Crew Members Inside Production Confirm That Mads Mikkelsen Is Replacing Johnny Depp as Grindelwald
  7. UPDATED: Johnny Depp Announces Departure from “Fantastic Beasts” Franchise, Third Movie Pushed Back to 2022


The Stories:

January 3 - VIDEO - Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, revealed that he used the Harry Potter movies as a guide for how to create an interconnected cinematic world for both casual and hard-core fans.

January 6 - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort received two 2020 Theme Park Insider Awards: Best New Roller Coaster for Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Best Quick Service Restaurant for the Leaky Cauldron.

January 9 - Evanna Lynch recorded her first audiobook: Keep Your Eyes on Me, written by Sam Blake.

January 14 - Fans from Australia and New Zealand voiced their displeasure as Netflix pulled all the Harry Potter movies from the streaming platform due to licensing agreements.

January 14 - VIDEO - In time for their debut on February 7, the cast of the German production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child got their first look at the Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt after its makeover.

January 21 - The Australian Open announced a Harry Potter Day to take place, featuring cast members of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and screenings of the films.

January 26 - Waterstones Piccadilly announced that it would celebrate with illustrators Jonny Duddle and Levi Pinfold for the sixth annual Harry Potter Book Night event on February 6.

January 26 - VIDEO - The Northwestern University women's basketball team went viral with their TikTok video inspired by Potter Puppet Pals' "Mysterious Ticking Noise."

January 27 - VIDEO - Jude Law spoke about the complexity of Albus Dumbledore’s character, claiming it was a real privilege to be able to bring him to life.

January 30 - Emma Watson, Dame Emma Thompson, and Stephen Fry signed an open letter demanding that world leaders take action against poverty, inequality, and climate change.

February 1 - Professor Slughorn actor Jim Broadbent was named an ambassador for Dementia UK.

February 4 - VIDEO - The Year 3 cast of the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was announced.

February 5 - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood began selling Fishy Green Ale at the Three Broomsticks.

February 9 - The Potter family’s Godric’s Hollow home was listed on Airbnb for short stays.

February 11 - Bloomsbury released its publishing plans for 2020, including an illustrated Quidditch Through the Ages and a special edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone designed by MinaLima.

February 11 - A Yiddish translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was made available to preorder.

February 12 - Callum Turner confirmed he would be returning as Theseus Scamander in the third Fantastic Beasts film.

February 13 - It was announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would open in Tokyo, Japan, in 2022.

February 19 - The Year 2 cast of the Melbourne production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was announced.

February 21 - VIDEO - Molly Weasley actress Dame Julie Walters revealed she had been diagnosed with stage III bowel cancer in 2018 but had since been given the all clear.

March 5 - The game developer Zynga announced a new match-three game called Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells.

March 7 - Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter hosted a panel with Wizarding World crew members as Warner Bros. UK announced a new portal to encourage people to consider creative careers.

March 9 - Covers for the Bloomsbury and Scholastic illustrated editions of Quidditch Through the Ages were revealed.

March 10 - The “Winner of Winners” Blue Peter Book Award was given to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

March 11 - VIDEO - The Year 1 cast of the Toronto production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was announced.

March 13 - VIDEO - Daniel Radcliffe quelled rumors he had contracted the coronavirus while the Broadway and San Francisco productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child suspended performances.

March 13 - The German production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child suspended performances, while the Melbourne production reduced audience capacity; meanwhile, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood announced they would be temporarily closing.

March 14 - Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter announced it would be temporarily closing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 14 - US Quidditch suspended its 2019–2020 season due to the spread of COVID-19.

March 17 - Principal photography on Fantastic Beasts 3 was yet again delayed - this time due to the rise of COVID-19 cases; meanwhile, the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child suspended performances, and the sale of tickets for the upcoming Canadian production was postponed.

March 28 - The Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition originally held at the British Library in 2017 was made available to view online through Google Arts & Culture.

March 31 - VIDEO - The Tales of Beedle the Bard audiobook, featuring voices from across the Wizarding World, was released.

April 2 - Wizarding World Digital launched Harry Potter at Home, a web page that contained activities for teachers and families to use during lockdown. Audible joined the initiative by offering the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone audiobook to listeners for free.

April 2 - VIDEO - Daniel Radcliffe appeared on A Late Show with Stephen Colbert, showing off his Jurassic Park LEGO set that he had built during quarantine.

April 8 - Lucius Malfoy actor Jason Isaacs revealed what he thinks may have happened to his character after the Battle of Hogwarts.

April 8 - The Thai editions of the Harry Potter books received new cover illustrations to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series.

April 8 - Emma Watson discussed feminism and gender equality with professor and author Valerie Hudson in an interview for Teen Vogue.

April 16 - The Harry Potter-branded buses that usually carry fans to and from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter were redeployed to transport hospital workers to and from their shifts in Hertfordshire.

April 16 - The Toronto production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was due to premiere in October, was delayed until 2021.

April 20 - Actors from the Harry Potter series contributed to a book of stories about the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.

April 24 - The Harry Potter Alliance launched the Save Our Owl Post Campaign in support of the United States Postal Service.

April 28 - VIDEO - Famous faces from the Wizarding World, including Rupert Grint and British audiobook narrator Stephen Fry, took part in the BBC’s The Big Night In, which raised money for essential workers and communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 2 - VIDEO - Newly revealed permits sparked further speculation on the rumored Fantastic Beasts-themed land in the upcoming Epic Universe theme park.

May 5 - VIDEO - Daniel Radcliffe kicked off Harry Potter at Home’s read-through of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer's Stone with Chapter 1: "The Boy Who Lived."

May 5 - Tom Felton joined the video-sharing website Cameo, which gives stars a chance to connect with fans through personalized messages.

May 15 - VIDEO - Zynga and Portkey Games dropped the trailer for the Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells mobile game.

May 16 - Due to COVID-19, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter suspended ticket sales for the rest of 2020.

May 22 - The European Quidditch Cup was postponed to 2021.

May 24 - VIDEO - Dolores Umbridge as Imelda Staunton and her husband, Jim Carter (Mr. Carson on Downton Abbey), hosted a virtual quiz to raise funds for the British charity Marie Curie, which supports people living with terminal illnesses and their families.

May 24 - An auction house in Edinburgh, Scotland, auctioned off a first-edition first impression of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone signed by the author as well as a copy of the same novel signed by Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Ian Hart.

May 25 - Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic became available to stream through the end of the month to raise funds for Frontline Foods.

May 26 - It was announced that The Ickabog, a new fairy tale set outside the wizarding world, would be released for free online a few chapters at a time.

June 1 - The quidditch-focused young adult novel This Is How We Fly, written by Anna Meriano, announced a scheduled release date of October 20.

June 3 - Universal Orlando Resort announced how it planned to reopen safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 8 - Actor Daniel Radcliffe issued a statement via the Trevor Project that "transgender women are women."

June 9 - The British Quidditch Cup was canceled and the 2019–2020 QuidditchUK season ended due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

June 13 - Actor Daniel Radcliffe and Harry Potter stunt double David Holmes, who was Radcliffe's stunt double for the series, talked about Harry Potter stunts on their new podcast, Cunning Stunts.

June 19 - VIDEO - Guests and executives who were present on the opening day of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort looked back on the momentous occasion.

June 20 - The Harry Potter Alliance’s three-day Granger Leadership Academy moved online this year due to COVID-19.

June 21 - Actress and activist Emma Watson joined Kering's board of directors to advocate for sustainable fashion practices.

June 26 - US Quidditch joined other quidditch leagues in showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

June 29 - The Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child suspended performances until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 2 - MinaLima announced that they would begin holding virtual visits of their gallery, House of MinaLima, starting July 4.

July 9 - The British Book Awards gave Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone the 30from30 Award, recognizing it as the best book over the past 30 years.

July 16 - Hogwarts at Home wrapped up, with the final chapter read by fans and their families.

July 17 - Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney) signed Greta Thunberg's open letter to world leaders demanding climate action.

July 21 - All eight Harry Potter films were announced to be leaving HBO Max on August 25, although it was speculated they would end up on NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

July 22 - Universal Studios announced that its new resort in Beijing would begin trial operations as early as the first half of 2021.

July 22 - Emma Watson partnered with author Reni Eddo-Lodge to rename London Underground stations in recognition of women and non-binary people.

July 23 - Greyfriars Kirkyard reported significant soil erosion due to the hundreds of tourists visiting the grave of Thomas Riddell, believed to have inspired Voldemort's name.

July 25 - Wizarding World Digital reported that the Hogwarts at Home initiative led to a major increase in sales of the Harry Potter series.

July 25 - The Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film was reportedly one of 100 movies that helped save cable television in the explosion of new streaming services.

July 27 - The San Francisco production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child suspended performances until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 31 - MinaLima reported that their shop and gallery, House of MinaLima, would be moving from Greek Street to Soho, also incorporating their design studio.

August 5 - All eight Harry Potter films were announced to be coming to NBCUniversal’s Peacock in October.

August 5 - Construction of Epic Universe in Florida was put on hold indefinitely, and speculation arose about the opening of the park being pushed back from 2023.

August 8 - Protests against anti-defamation laws broke out in Thailand with a decidedly wizard-y theme, with protestors dressing in robes, carrying wands, and casting Patronus Charms.

August 12 - The West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child suspended performances until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 14 - A small backstage fire led to the temporary closure of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando Resort.

August 18 - China eased movie theater restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, screening a 4K 3D remastered version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone across the country, which carried the film's total box office earnings past the $1 billion mark.

August 19 - It was announced that a brand-new Warner Bros. Studio Tour location would be opening in Japan in 2022.

August 20 - Wizarding World Digital urged fans not to visit Kings Cross station this year due to the global pandemic, instead announcing a virtual Back to Hogwarts livestream featuring Jason Issacs (Lucius Malfoy), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley).

August 22 - VIDEO - Canadian camouflage company HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp. created a near-perfect Invisibility Cloak, although there are no plans to make it available to the public anytime soon.

August 23 - The National Trust of Scotland reported that Potter attraction Glenfinnan Viaduct draws so many tourists a day that a decision was made to expand the existing parking lot and construct a new footbridge.

September 1 - The Amazonian Quidditch League, a British Muggle quidditch league for female, trans, and non-binary players, was announced to debut in the 2020–2021 season.

September 1 - MinaLima reopened at a new location in London, magically transforming the building into a new gallery for the graphic designs used in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies as well as a true flagship headquarters.

September 2 - The Golden Snitch was officially announced to be joining Jelly Belly's collection of Harry Potter candy as a ball of milk chocolate.

September 4 - VIDEO - Bloomsbury set the Guinness World Record for the most people to board their broomsticks online simultaneously, which included the participation of a few MuggleNet staff members.

September 10 - Fans in the United Kingdom rejoiced when Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter announced the launch of bottled butterbeer, available to purchase online.

September 11 - The third installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise finally began filming after a long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

September 16 - VIDEO - Hogwarts Legacy, the role-playing game leaked two years previously, was officially announced to be coming to gaming consoles and PCs for a 2021 release.

September 23 - VIDEO - Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, a new match-three game from Zynga, was released worldwide.

September 23 - Rumors about a Fantastic Beasts spin-off from streaming platform HBO Max and Warner Bros. cropped up from multiple sources.

September 30 - A statue of Harry Potter taking flight on his Nimbus 2000 was unveiled on Leicester Square's "Scenes in the Square" trail, near where Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone premiered in 2001.

October 2 - The opening of the Harry Potter store in New York City was delayed until 2021.

October 3 - MuggleNet announced a series of Instagram takeovers by other fandom communities every Sunday for the remainder of the year.

October 6 - VIDEO - Eleven towns in the United Kingdom and Ireland were named honorary Quidditch towns to celebrate the release of the illustrated edition of Quidditch Through the Ages.

October 9 - VIDEO - Audible released an exclusive narration of the first Harry Potter book in Spanish as part of the launch of Audible España.

October 13 - VIDEO - Muggle quidditch celebrated its 15th anniversary by looking back at its history.

October 15 - It was reported that Potter attraction Gloucester Cathedral would be among the historical sites receiving a relief grant from the Culture Recovery Fund of the United Kingdom in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 20 - Tom Felton announced his plans to put together a virtual "Nineteen Years Later" reunion with cast and crew from the first Harry Potter film.

October 26 - VIDEO - After a long delay, London’s Natural History Museum announced the opening date of the Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature exhibition as December 9.

October 29 - MuggleNet investigated reports from fan creators of increasing copyright infringement claims from Warner Bros.

October 30 - VIDEO - MinaLima announced their illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for a fall 2021 release.

October 31 - VIDEO - Universal Beijing Resort, scheduled to open in 2021, released new concept art of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

November 4 - With England going back into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter temporarily shut its doors once again.

November 6 - Johnny Depp announced his departure from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, stating that his resignation had come at the request of Warner Bros., and the release date of the third film was pushed back to 2022.

November 6 - The response on social media to Johnny Depp's departure from the role of Gellert Grindelwald was swift and mostly negative.

November 9 - VIDEO - Stephen Fry was announced as the Ickabog audiobook narrator a day before its release.

November 12 - After just one month on the NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock, the Harry Potter films once again became unavailable to stream in the United States.

November 12 - MuggleNet exclusively broke the news that Mads Mikkelsen would be replacing Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts film series.

November 13 - VIDEO - The theme for Harry Potter Book Night 2021 was revealed by Bloomsbury.

November 15 - Rupert Grint made his Instagram debut, breaking the social media platform's record for the fastest garnering of 1 million followers.

November 17 - Although the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the opening of the world's largest Harry Potter merchandise store, Harry Potter New York, until 2021, the store established an online presence in time for the holiday shopping season.

November 21 - It was announced that Alan Rickman's personal diaries, which he penned from 1992 until his death in 2016, would be compiled and published in 2022.

December 3 - The Harry Potter Alliance announced that its annual Accio Books! campaign would be held in partnership with Reading Is Fundamental and Anne Beers Elementary School.

December 6 - VIDEO - Guinness World Record holder Victoria Maclean was featured in an episode of Collector’s Call for having the largest collection of Wizarding World memorabilia.

December 6 - VIDEO - Daniel Radcliffe took on a socially distanced Hot Ones hot wings challenge.

December 8 - Mads Mikkelsen gave his first interview after being cast as Grindelwald in the third Fantastic Beasts film.

December 9 - The Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature exhibition, which takes a look at magical creatures and the real-world beasts that inspired them, opened in London following a virtual press preview the day before.

December 18 - The Melbourne production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child announced that performances would officially resume in February following global suspensions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

December 21 - VIDEO - The Protego Foundation launched its Protect the Puffs campaign to prevent the killing of badgers in the United Kingdom.

December 22 - MuggleNet explored the legal basis for fan creations that use copyrighted works, part of a series on copyright infringement claims from Warner Bros.

December 26 - Tom Felton teased his Holiday Home Party, a livestream featuring his music, his dog, and his family.

December 29 - West Coast Railways announced that, due to popular demand, the Jacobite steam train, which follows the same route as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter film series, would run not six but seven days a week for its 2021 season.